issues. The string of issues together, however, suggested an emotional component: that the team's move had triggered some negative or worried feelings.
Jerry's handling of the initial, sick-building problem seemed judicious. He could, first of all, have missed the emotional concerns, if he were poor at perceiving emotions, or ignored them, if he didn't care.
The implications of emotions, their feelings adn their meanings are considered
UNDERSTANDING Emotional about relationships are understood, including how they might change with time and events
MANAGEMENT Thoughts promote emotional intellectual and personal growth
Management encourages openness to feelings
Emotions and emotion-related information are attended to.
FACILITATION Emotions enter the cognitive system as noticed signals and as influences on cognition
PERCPTION Emotions are perceived and exposed
Emotions are sensed; automatic influences on cognition begin
Alternatively, he could have focussed solely on the emotional components, and ignored the technical issues of a real, possible, health risk. He did well, however, by attending to the feelings involved and intervening by investigating the building condition with an HVAC team.
His reaction to the parking problems was a bit less clear in its effectiveness. His perception of the emotions of his team - that parking issues were of concern -- was no doubt accurate. His understanding that if the problem was not dealt with it could get worse was also correct. Issues remained, however, and morale and productivity appeared to be suffering. To gain a better comprehension of the problem at this stage, it helps to learn a bit more about emotional intelligence.
Understanding Emotional Intelligence
The Mayer-Salovey Four-Branch model of emotional intelligence states that there are four branches of skills that are related to EI. These four branches and some of their interrelationships are shown in the diagram below. The first two branches, Perception, and Facilitation, are termed "experiential EI," because they relate most closely to feelings. They involve, first, the capacity to perceive emotions in others accurately, and, second, the ability to use emotions to enhance how we think. When Jerry perceived concerns and anxieties in his team, he accurately perceived emotions among those around him. When he (presumably) used his own emotions to motivate his response to those concerns, he was effectively using his emotions to facilitate his thoughts and actions.
The third and fourth areas of EI skills are termed "strategic EI" because they pertain to calculating and planning with information about emotions. The third area, Understanding Emotions, involves knowing how emotions change, in and of themselves, as well as how they will change people and their behaviours over time. The fourth area, Emotional Management, focuses on how to integrate logic and emotion for effective decision-making. These four skill areas are related to one another, but they are functionally distinct as well. We know this from our research in ability-testing of EI, which has accompanied the scientific theory.
Our current test of EI is called the Mayer-Salovey- Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test, or MSCEIT. Jerry had taken the MSCEIT during the early portion of his executive coaching. The MSCEIT, like the Mayer- Salovey model upon which it is based, promotes a distinct and well-defined approach to studying EI. Rather than having people evaluate themselves (self- report method), or having others evaluate them (360 method), the MSCEIT is an ability test and asks people to solve emotion problems. For example, to assess Emotional Perception, the MSCEIT includes a task in which test-takers must identify emotions in faces and pictures. To assess Facilitating Thought, test-takers are asked what they think is the best emotion to feel when carrying out a task such as brain-storming. To measure Understanding Emotion, the MSCEIT includes questions about emotional vocabulary, how emotions blend together, and how emotions change over time. Finally, to test Emotional Management, the MSCEIT includes descriptions of socio-emotional situations, and
Ivey Business Journal November/December 2002